March 2023 – National Nutrition Month®

Ways to Celebrate National Nutrition Month®

Depending on where you live, March may bring the end of gray, wintery weather. Chase away the gloom and foster excitement by celebrating National Nutrition Month®! It is a timely way to renew interest in the fresh foods that will soon be in local markets.

Celebrated annually [Read More]

2023-03-09T13:28:55-06:00March 1st, 2023|

February 2023 – Child Nutrition (CN) Labels

Are you confused by child nutrition (CN) labels? Do you know when you need to get one? Which foods may have a CN label, or how to use them? You are not alone. CN labels can be intimidating but also highly useful. This Mealtime Memo will guide you through the basics of the CN [Read More]

2023-03-09T13:27:47-06:00February 2nd, 2023|

January 2023 – Menu Planning

What is a key ingredient to serving nutritious, appealing, and cost-effective meals? Menus!

Menu planning is the backbone to successfully managing meals. Menus affect all aspects of meal service, from purchasing to preparing to serving. Without menus, staff will have to spend time each day figuring out what foods to prepare and serve to the children [Read More]

2023-02-02T12:23:38-06:00January 5th, 2023|

December 2022 – Safe Feeding Practices to Prevent Choking

Children choking at mealtimes can happen quickly and can be very scary. In fact, children between birth and four years of age are at the greatest risk of choking while eating, in part, because they may not chew food properly. Young children also have a small windpipe (or airway) about as wide as a drinking [Read More]

2023-01-06T10:12:02-06:00December 5th, 2022|

November 2022 – Vegetarian Meals

Have parents ever asked you to serve a vegetarian diet to their child? Have you ever wondered if it is healthy for a child to be a vegetarian? Or how to prepare meals to meet their needs? The good news is that a well-planned vegetarian menu can be healthy, delicious, and fit into the Child [Read More]

2022-12-05T12:44:02-06:00November 9th, 2022|

October 2022 – Healthy Celebrations

Parties can be a fun way to celebrate special occasions and holidays! They usually involve decorations, games, and music! They also commonly include cake, ice cream, cookies, and candy. While traditional party foods are okay to serve occasionally, they do not have to be the focus. Birthdays, holidays, and other special events are great [Read More]

2022-11-09T14:21:14-06:00October 5th, 2022|

September 2022 – Food Allergies and Intolerances

Food allergies are increasing at alarming rates. In fact, one in every 13 children has a food allergy—which is about two per U.S. classroom! If you have children in your program with food allergies or intolerances, you know how important it is to prepare and serve safe meals. Having a plan and being prepared will help make sure children feel included and can safely join in meals. Knowing common allergens, reading food labels, and avoiding cross-contact will help prevent an allergic reaction and keep children safe.

2022-12-05T12:12:16-06:00September 7th, 2022|

August 2022 Mealtime Memo: Choosy Eaters

Three-year-old Jade only eats white foods: bread, rice, and bananas. Does this sound familiar? If you work in child care, you likely know a child who is cautious, hesitant, or selective in the foods they eat. You are not alone. “Choosy” eating is common for many children as they move from infants to toddlers. Their growth rate slows down, and they become more independent. Rest assured, it is most likely temporary, and there are strategies to help get past this stage without mealtime battles.

2022-11-10T10:20:00-06:00September 7th, 2022|

July 2022 Mealtime Memo: Family Engagement

Family engagement is a major part of quality child care. It offers opportunities for child care professionals to connect with families and share tools and resources to help improve and model healthy behaviors. There are two key ways to promote family engagement:

  • Provide credible resources and information that will help families better understand concepts of nutrition, food preparation, and healthy mealtimes.
  • Empower families to be positive role models for healthy behaviors.
2022-11-10T10:24:53-06:00August 5th, 2022|

June 2022 Mealtime Memo: Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE)

Have you ever wanted to plant a garden at your child care program but didn’t know where to start? Or do you have a green thumb but want to engage children in learning more about food, nutrition, and the growing process? This Mealtime Memo provides ideas to get you started.

You may have heard of Farm to Preschool, Farm to Early Childhood, Farm to Early Childcare, or Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE). These terms all refer to the National Farm to School movement. The goal of the National Farm to School movement is to provide fresh, local foods to young children in child care settings. In this Mealtime Memo, we will use the term Farm to Early Care and Education or Farm to ECE.

2022-12-05T12:15:44-06:00June 7th, 2022|
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